This page includes information and links to assist families and representatives of people living in residential care to support their participation in the electoral system. It is compulsory for all eligible Australians to enrol and vote in federal elections and referendums.
You can assist a someone to change or update their enrolment details online, with their consent.
To complete the form, you will need to provide a range of personal information about the person such as their date of birth and information about their citizenship, and have access to an eligible identity document of theirs.
If they do not have an eligible identity document, you can confirm their identity if you are on the Commonwealth electoral roll.
You cannot sign the form on behalf of the person you are assisting, including if you are a power of attorney.
If you cannot use the online form, you can complete and print a PDF form or pick up a form at an AEC office and return it to the AEC.If the person you are supporting has a physical disability that prevents them from writing, you may complete and sign an enrolment form for persons unable to sign their name on their behalf.
When someone moves into a residential aged care facility, they will be able to update their address once they have lived there for more than one month.
Changes to other information, such as a change of name, can be completed at any time.
Once an election or referendum is called there is only a short period of time where people are able to update their information on the electoral roll. It is best to support someone who has moved into residential care to update their enrolment as soon as they have been at the facility for one month to ensure they maintain their eligibility to vote.
The AEC provides assistance for people living with disability to ensure they are not disadvantaged from participating in the electoral system.
People in the early stages of dementia, who are still capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, must continue to be enrolled and vote. You should speak with the person and with their doctor to determine if they maintain the capacity to understand the voting process.
Where people may require additional support to enrol and vote, the AEC provides a range of ‘Easy read guides’ for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information.
If someone your supporting has dementia and they are no longer capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting, you will need to complete the Objection claim that an elector should not be enrolled form to remove their name from the electoral roll. The medical certificate on the form must be completed and signed by a registered medical practitioner. Once the form is completed please return it to the AEC.
Information regarding a person who is deceased is provided to the AEC by relevant Births, Deaths and Marriages registries. However, family members or carers can notify the AEC of deceased electors.
Yes, it is compulsory for all Australian citizens who have turned 18 and have lived at their residential address for a period of one month, to enrol and maintain their enrolment.
While the AEC uses accessible polling places wherever possible, if someone you are supporting finds it difficult to get to a polling place on election day, you can assist them to apply to become a General Postal Voter to receive their ballot papers in the mail. The AEC also offers mobile polling to all residential aged care facilities which provides a simpler option to voting compared to a General Postal Vote. Ask the staff at the facility if mobile polling is occurring for the upcoming federal election or referendum.
Some people may also require additional support to enrol and vote, such as people with intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial disability. The AEC provides a range of ‘Easy read guides’ for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information.
Assistance can be provided to voters who need assistance to vote at a polling place. This could include:
Polling staff are trained to assist people.
Voters can nominate any person (except a candidate) to assist. This person could be a friend or relative, a scrutineer or anyone else. If a person is not nominated, then the polling official in charge of the polling place will provide assistance.
If the polling official in charge is the one providing assistance, scrutineers have the right to be present while the ballot papers are filled in.
If assistance is being provided by a person nominated by the voter, the voter and the nominated assistant use the same voting screen. The assistant helps to complete, fold and deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box. In this situation scrutineers ARE NOT allowed to enter the voting screen while the ballot paper is being completed.
If the person you are supporting is physically unable to write their response on the ballot paper, they can ask someone to help them. This could be a friend, relative or other person.
At a polling place, if they do not nominate someone to help them, then the polling official in charge may provide assistance. If the polling official in charge is the one providing assistance, scrutineers have the right to be present while the ballot papers are filled in.
If someone is assisting someone in residential care to vote, they must follow the instructions of the resident when completing the ballot papers.
If you are supporting someone in residential care to vote, and they are unable to visit a polling place, the AEC makes a range of alternative voting options available including postal voting, telephone voting for voters who are blind or have low vision, and mobile polling in select locations.
No. A person who holds a power of attorney for a voter is not permitted to vote for an elector, as there is no provision for proxy voting in federal elections in Australia.
You may advise a polling official of the illness, death or other circumstances of another person. These details will be recorded in an elector information report.
Under no circumstances will you be allowed to vote for another person. Although the polling official will record all the information you have given them, they are unable to tell you whether that person will receive a letter about failing to vote or be issued with an administrative penalty for not voting. This decision can only be made by the returning officer for that division.
Voters who have dementia have a right and responsibility to vote in federal elections and referendum for as long as they have the capacity to understand the voting process.
The AEC has information to assist voters with dementia:
People with dementia can have someone assist them during the voting process. Refer to guidance for providing assistance to voters factsheet for more information.
A voter can be removed from the roll when they are no longer capable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting. This is a decision for a registered medical practitioner.
Once a voter has been identified as someone who should be removed from the roll, the Objection claim that an elector should not be enrolled form must be completed by someone who is on the electoral roll. A medical practitioner will need to complete the medical certificate section.
Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) and the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984, a medical practitioner must be a registered medical practitioner, such as a general or specialist doctor, and not a nurse, dentist or an allied health professional such as a psychologist, pharmacist, or social worker.
If an objector provides a separate medical certificate, it must contain the words "incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting". Any other variation cannot be accepted.
Complete the form and return it to the AEC.
The AEC will send a letter to the person who submitted the form (the objector) and the elector who is being recommended for removal from the roll. These letters will include the reason provided for removing the elector from the roll and the name and address of the objector.
The elector will have 20 days to respond to the removal from the roll request. If they are unable to do so, or if they do not respond within 20 days, their name will be removed from the electoral roll.
The objector and the elector then receive a letter to advise the process is complete. The elector will no longer be able to vote in federal elections and referendums.
If the AEC has accepted the application for removal from the roll, the voter will no longer be able to vote in federal elections or referendums.
If the person who has been removed from the roll attends a polling place and asks to vote in an electoral event, they will complete a declaration vote as they will not be found on the approved list of voters. When the AEC processes declaration votes, we will ensure a person is eligible to vote prior to the vote being counted.
Declaration votes are also processed as an enrolment form. Therefore, a letter will be sent to the person who has been removed from the roll advising them they are ineligible to be enrolled as they have been removed from the roll due to being of 'unsound mind’. This letter will provide information on the re-enrolment process if the person would like to become enrolled again.
If the AEC has declined the application for removal from the roll, the person will be required to vote as per federal and state/territory laws and can vote as per normal processes.
The AEC have been working with Dementia Australia to further strengthen the AEC’s support, education and information on enrolment and voting for people with dementia and people supporting someone with dementia.
For information and support on dementia, visit Dementia Australia or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If someone would like to have the decision about being removed from the roll reviewed, they can request an AEC review of the decision.
Section 120 of the Electoral Act allows for certain enrolment decisions to be subject to internal review. In these cases, the letter that notified someone of an enrolment decision will also notify them of their rights to request an internal review.
To obtain information about how an initial decision was made, you can contact your local AEC office.
A request for an internal review must be made in writing to the Electoral Commissioner, before the end of 28 days, starting on the day on which you received the letter informing you of the decision.
Applications for review should be sent to your local AEC office. Clearly state you are seeking a review of a decision and include your contact details and any reference numbers that may appear on your letter.
There is no fee payable for requesting an internal review.
The Electoral Commissioner, or their delegate, who was not involved in making the original decision will consider all relevant material, legislation and policy that led to the original decision. There are three possible outcomes from an internal review. The original decision:
If an internal review has been completed and you do not agree with the outcome, you are able to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for an external review of the decision. More information on how to apply to the AAT and any applicable fees can be found on the AAT website.
At a referendum, voters will receive a ballot paper with the proposed alteration to the Constitution on it, followed by a question asking if they approve the proposed alteration.
On the referendum ballot paper, voters need to indicate their vote by clearly writing:
The AEC has created a sample ballot paper online for people to practise voting in a referendum, which you may find helpful.